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8 August 2014

Job evaluation members' briefings Edinburgh College

Members' briefings on job evaluation will be held in Edinburgh College fromMonday 11 August 2014 (see in college for details).

UNISON has produced a briefing (see below and pdf on right) which is going out today 8 August.

Job evaluation: Members’ briefing

Following the College merger in October 2012 among the many issues discussed with College management was the intention, and indeed legal requirement, to carry out a College wide evaluation exercise.

Immediately following the merger the first priority was to discuss and agree a Recognition Agreement (RPA) to cover the new merged employer which would define and shape all ongoing consultations and negotiations.

Once this was completed (in March 2013) the discussions on Harmonisation of Terms and Conditions, Policies and Procedural Documents and generic College contract of employment commenced properly.

The initiation of the Job Evaluation scheme for the College was brought to our attention in early July 2013.

At that point the indicative timescale and project completion date of August 1st 2014 was responded to as being "giddily optimistic" by UNISON.

Why is job evaluation needed?

At this point a brief history of the purpose and rationale for your employer to carry out an evaluation exercise may be helpful.

To eradicate gender inequalities in pay and grading structures and meet the legislative obligations captured in the Equal Pay Act of 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 employers are required to carry out an evaluation exercise that removes and actively prevents gender inequalities.

The process was partially completed across the individual colleges previously and the merger provided an ideal opportunity to both complete that exercise and revisit previous evaluations.

UNISON is required by dint of the Recognition Agreement to engage in that process.

Our primary consideration is to ensure that no existing inequalities are perpetuated and no new inequalities are created.

Additionally we strove to ensure that the outcomes were accurate and palatable and that the pay and grading structure is equally weighted from top to bottom and does not unduly favour higher graded roles.


To back this up a robust and transparent appeals process is an absolute requirement. There have been concerns about the evaluation reports that have been made available to post-holders but following recent discussions the full evaluation report for each post and a copy of the scoring matrix will be provided.

The ongoing issue we have in respect of the appeals process is the 'deadline' indicated, 29th August 2014. We consider this to be indicative and have sought and received assurance that no appeal will be declined beyond that date.

Deadline extended

Following recent discussion the deadline has now been extended for another two weeks to the 12th of September. Again, we underline that is nominal and should there be a valid reason for a late submission it is unlikely to be refused.

Consequently we urge you all to consider whether or not you wish to lodge an appeal and be assured that we will assist you in constructing that appeal - no matter how long it takes!

Equalities assessment

The external consultants contracted to advise the college: Northgate, were involved in the previous evaluation exercise and have a long standing, well respected reputation in this field, especially in the public sector and Further Education.

Regardless of that UNISON will ensure that a full Equalities/Equal Value assessment is conducted on the colleges evaluation exercise and indeed that the College meets its Public Sector Equality Duty obligations.

These assessments are done on outcomes. Consequently the system has to be applied and the outcomes of any appeal process have to be factored in.

So, yes, we require any of our members who feel their post has been inaccurately evaluated, for a range of reasons, to submit an appeal.

Should you want to submit an appeal but are unsure contact any of your College based reps or the Branch Office for advice and support
branchoffice@unison-edinburgh.org.uk or 0131 558 7488

There are ongoing discussions with your management on this issue and these will continue until we are satisfied with the outcome.

However the responsibility is also each member's to engage with the process and your representatives to ensure that all views are captured in discussions.
You do not abdicate that responsibility when electing a representative.

Please help us to help you by making this a collective and united consideration.




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